This August, ThinkBuzan hosted a Mind Mapping competition for under 16’s in the hope of tearing the children away from the computer console and steering them toward something more productive and beneficial to their brains.
One young Mind Mapper in particular really grabbed our attention after emailing us for tips on how to improve his Mind Maps to better his chances of winning the coveted iPod Touch with iMindMap Mobile Pro. His eagerness to learn and his drastic development impressed us so much; we just had to find out more!
We got in touch with 12 year old Phil and his mum Margaret to find out more about how Phil started his Mind Mapping adventures! Margaret told us she stumbled upon the competition on the ThinkBuzan blog after searching the internet during the summer holidays to find something fun and free to occupy Phil aside from the usual “cartoons and computer games”.
Although Phil had had some experience with Mind Mapping in school, “he wasn’t really impressed” by the school’s software; and so Phil never really got the hang of it. That all changed when he found iMindMap!
Phil got stuck into the competition after downloading his free trial of iMindMap from ThinkBuzan.com, making full use of the free resources such as the iMindMap video tutorials. “I saw a two minute tutorial” explains Phil, referring to one of the tutorials featured on the iMindMap YouTube channel, “and by the end of that I knew how to do most of the things. It was easy to get started and fast to learn!”
Phil wasted no time getting stuck in with his iMindMap software and sent us his first few Mind Maps for us to take a look at within just a few days of the competition opening! His first map on was a ‘how to’ map on staving off boredom during a long car journey.
We think it’s a great first attempt, with evidence of Phil’s artistic streak showing through in the customised branches. Phil, on the other hand, wanted to know how to make his maps even better so asked us for some advice on how to make them a little more eye-catching!
We offered a few simple yet key tips to get the most out of Mind Mapping fast:
One of the easiest ways to nurture and enrich creativity when Mind Mapping is to start your Mind Map with a central idea that’s not going to limit or restrict the heights of your imagination. The more ‘open’ the central idea, the more possibilities there are to explore.
Try to limit the wording of your central idea to a minimum to really let your imagination run away with you when you start creating branches!
The ‘One Word per Branch’ rule may seem restrictive at first, however, rather than limiting your wording, the rule actually gives “explosive freedom to the cognitive and other intelligences”, says Tony Buzan.
A branch that reads “Go to football training after school on Monday” could be separated and elaborated much easier by creating a branch with the single word “Monday”, branching off to read “AM” and “PM”. “AM” could read “school” and any other such activities, with “PM” then reading “home-time”, “dinner” and “football”. You can even elaborate “football” to specifically focus on the goals and targets of the football training, e.g., “teamwork”, “speed” and “agility”.
Using single words on your branches allows you to explore a whole world of possibilities and gives each thought the opportunity to explore infinite options!
The more creative you are with a Mind Map the better, so we encourage all iMindMappers to infuse maps with as much as colour and as many images as you dare to use! “Our brains respond better to images and colour” says Tony Buzan in ‘The Mind Map Book’, so the busier the Mind Map, the more eye-catching it’ll be. Don’t worry about cluttering your map; you can easily tweak it later.
After taking our advice on board, there was no stopping Phil as he continued to progress as a Mind Mapper; we’re sure you’ll agree that Phil’s development in such a short space of time is amazing! The use of bright colours, images and the asymmetrical balance of the map gave Phil’s Mind Map unique character and makes it really stand out from the crowd!
We, at the ThinkBuzan office, love hearing about how real people are using iMindMap and it really has been a pleasure talking to Phil and his mum Margaret and it’s brilliant to hear that they’re now hooked!
“We were really impressed with how easy it was to use and like how colourful it was” explained Margaret. “I’ll be encouraging my daughter to use the software too, as she’s dyslexic and I think she would enjoy using it as it’s so easy to use”.
That’s if Phil will ever move away from the PC to let his sister have a go… “It will be great for planning things, writing down ideas and planning pieces of writing on the computer. I have already used it to make a print-out week’s plan for my social and sports commitments as well as my homework!” says Phil.
Download your free trial of iMindMap to join the 250,000,000 Mind Mappers who are already hooked on thinking creatively!
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